Portugal air traffic controllers to stage new strikes
Air traffic controllers in Portugal will stage a series of new partial strikes beginning next week, the latest in a series of actions to protest restructuring, unions said on Friday.
The controllers will stop working for two four-hour periods each day beginning on June 29 until July 3. Previous such strikes in April and May severely disrupted air traffic, with hundreds of flights affected.
The air traffic controllers are protesting at the restructuring of services and budget reductions in the recession-wracked country. They had staged four days of strikes in May and five days in April.
In addition, pilots working for the state TAP company that is due to be privatised before the end of the year as part of an international bailout, will not fly between July 5-8 and August 1-5, said the Spac union that represents civil aviation pilots.
The pilots are demanding that disciplinary procedures undertaken against some of them be dropped and the departure of several members of management.
The strikes will mark the latest against austerity measures in Portugal, which is locked into a three-year programme of debt-cutting measures and economic reforms in return for a 78-billion-euro ($103 billion) rescue package from the EU and International Monetary Fund agreed in May 2011.
Portugal was the third EU country after Greece and Ireland to receive such a bailout.
Previous strikes have included air traffic controllers and public services like garbage collection, ports, schools and transport.